MACON, Ga. — Insulin is a lifesaving drug for diabetics, but without insurance, it can cost hundreds of dollars a month. Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff visited Macon Monday to talk about what the federal government is doing to try and help.
Mayor Pro Tem Seth Clark says the Senate's economic bill will help 15 to 20% of Macon-Bibb County residents above the age of 65.
"Seniors across our state, and across the country have been having to choose between rent, and prescriptions," Ossoff said.
"When you have to worry about the medicine that you're taking and don't have the money to pay for it, that's another sickness," Idonia Jackson said.
Jackson has diabetes and has a granddaughter who needs insulin. She and her family helped pitch in to pay for it.
"I had a bill that I had to pay, but I wouldn't pay the bill to give her the money to help with the medicine," said Jackson.
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law this week. Among other things, the law will cap the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare at $35 per month starting next year.
"This will help so that we won't have to come out of our pockets to help them get the medicine they really need," Jackson said.
J.J. Arias, an economics professor at Georgia College, says this will be good for those who need insulin, but, "Probably what will happen is the taxpayer picks up the bill in some form or another."
Arias says there's a potential downside as well. The bill could reduce the incentive for drug manufactures to produce it and make the demand go up.
"Down the road, though, there may be a cost either in the form of a shortage or in the form of more government spending, and therefore, more of a tax bill," Arias said.
Even though the president is expected to sign the bill this week, Arias recommends you don't fully rely on it. He says you never know what could happen and you should have a backup plan.
Arias says try to economize in terms of overall spending take advantage of lower prices now, and try to save for the future just in case something changes.